Sheerline has invested over £1 million in a new state-of-the-art powder coating plant, bringing the most important secondary process that happens to aluminium profiles in house for the first time. Sheerline says this further investment in its fully vertically integrated, single site UK manufacturing facility helps strengthen Sheerline’s ability to offer its customers the very best service and quality possible, ensuring that every Sheerline profile has a consistent and blemish free finish.
Greg Grabski, Garnalex’s powder coating plant manager explains: “In the past, we have relied on third party suppliers to powder coat our products, using well known and well-respected companies to keep up with the growing demand for the Sheerline range. Traditionally this has meant transporting mill finished profiles from our warehouse to the powder coaters, waiting for them to process it, then collecting it back, before it’s put into stock. This obviously racks up mileage, increases the products carbon footprint, and unavoidably introduces an extra incremental opportunity for damage to occur.
“By investing in our own powder coating facility, housed next door to our Hybrex aluminium press we have built in efficiencies and significantly reduced stock movement – taking up to 5 weeks out of the process involved in putting painted profiles into stock.
“This added agility, ensures we can fulfil customers’ orders on time and in full, as well as giving us direct control over quality checks, with the ability to rectify any issues in hours rather than weeks. I come from the automotive industry – where I gained my experience in running quality obsessed painting operations. I will be using these skills and the higher quality expectations that automotive supply chains work to, to embed the correct processes and procedures into our operation – ensuring Sheerline’s powder coating is best-in-class.”
With one of the ‘very best’ seven stage chrome free pre-treatment systems and a GEMA Magic Cylinder fast colour change system at the heart of the painting facility, the powder coating plant has been sited adjacent to the company’s aluminium press to optimise production flow.
“Our intention is to exceed the standards defined by Qualicoat as a matter of course,” continued Greg. “Qualicoat is primarily a commercial specification standard that is less appropriate for residential aluminium windows and doors. Visual acuity checks that are based on a 3m viewing distance may work for large commercial contracts but leave many homeowners understandably disgruntled. Lots of windows just can’t be viewed from that distance internally. As we bed our new operation in, we will be looking to tighten these standards to offer a better service to customers and more peace-of-mind for homeowners.”
Sheerline is one of only a handful of systems companies that extrude and paint themselves. However, the company believes its truly unique edge in the market is how the new in-house painting capabilities combine with its unique Thermlock thermal breaks. The way Sheerline has been designed enables profiles to be rolled quickly to meet each customer order – enabling them to offer any dual colour combination, from a standard 12 colour range, in just 10 days. Sheerline says this agility gives customers the confidence to use colour and service levels as a key selling aid against rival systems.
All Sheerline systems are available in a range of 12 colours. Pure White, Anthracite Grey and Jet Black in matt as well as Hipca Gloss White, alongside Cream, Agate Grey, Squirrel Grey, Pastel Turquoise and Chocolate Brown and three anodised metallic effects. This is coupled with a bespoke colour service that Sheerline says only adds an average of a week to orders.